Posted by: Joe English | March 8, 2012

Training — Dehydrate A Muscle and Lose Performance

running-advice-bugOne of our sharp-eyed readers watching the film Moneyball (perhaps on their new iPadHD) picked up on something on a wall and asked me a question about it. The movie relates to baseball and on the wall behind one of the players talking in the film there is a piece of paper with some statistics about dehydration on it. Apparently this would have been the Athletic Trainer’s way to remind their players to drink more fluid. The question that I was asked is whether the statements were true or if they were just Hollywood props on the wall of a movie set.

First, here is what the piece of paper actually said:
“Dehydrate a muscle by 3%
10% loss of contractile function
8% loss of speed
Performance dries up.”

Well, here’s my answer. First, many times Hollywood film-makers use consultants or do pretty good research in dressing out spaces and this is one of those cases. The facts on the paper are correct. In a really good article on the website of the National Council of Strength and Fitness on Maintaining Proper Hydration those same statistics appear. The article starts by defining dehydration as a loss of 1% or greater of body weight due to fluid loss.

Here’s what the article has to say about those claims on the Moneyball poster: “Training in a state of dehydration can have dramatic effects on performance. Dehydrate a muscle by only 3% and you cause about 10% loss of contractile strength and an 8% loss of speed.” This is most likely the source of the poster on the wall.

To continue reading, click here.

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